Aurangzeb demolished temple in Mathura to make way for Shahi Idgah mosque, ASI reply in RTI

In a significant revelation regarding the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah controversy in Mathura, a Right to Information investigation has revealed the involvement of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb in the demolition of a temple to make way for the Shahi Idgah mosque. Information received from the Archaeological Survey of India in Agra claims that the mosque is built on the land where Aurangzeb had ordered the destruction of an already existing temple.

The RTI request was filed by Ajay Pratap Singh of Mainpuri, seeking details about temples across the country, including the birthplace of Shri Krishna in Mathura. In response, the Archeology Department cited a gazette published in 1920 during British rule, which stated that the Katra Keshavdev Temple had once occupied the site of the mosque. According to the information, the temple was demolished and a mosque was constructed in its place.

Advocate Mahendra Pratap, President of Krishna Janmabhoomi Mukti Nyas, expressed his intention to present this evidence in both the Supreme Court and the High Court. Its significance lies in the gazette document of the Keshava Dev temple located on the Katra mound, which indicates the construction of a mosque in its place – an important element supporting the claim that a temple was in fact demolished.

The Mathura dispute is similar to the Ayodhya dispute, in which Hindus claim that Aurangzeb destroyed the temple and built a mosque in its place. The current disagreement revolves around the ownership of a total of 13.37 acres of land, with the Shri Krishna Janmasthan claiming 10.9 acres and the Shahi Idgah Mosque claiming 2.5 acres.

The Hindu side argues that the mosque is an illegal encroachment and demands its removal while advocating return of the land to Shri Krishna’s birthplace. The newly received RTI information strengthens their argument, and is set to become a key piece of supporting evidence in the ongoing legal battle.